Does Gender Diversity in the Upper Echelons Pay for Investors? International Evidence
70 Pages Posted: 28 Jan 2022 Last revised: 20 Apr 2022
Date Written: January 23, 2022
This study examines whether gender diversity in firms’ upper echelons pays for investors by comparing the performance of gender-diverse portfolios in 19 international markets. First, using a portfolio approach, we compare the risk-adjusted performance and risk exposures of stock portfolios with different levels of gender diversity in top management (TMT) and the board of directors (BoD). Portfolios with more gender diversity tend to exhibit significantly lower exposure to market risk than less gender-diverse portfolios. However, our analysis reveals no significant difference in performance on average. Further, we examine the link between country gender parity and performance across markets. We find that in markets with lower gender parity, portfolios with high levels of gender diversity tend to show significantly higher alphas in down-markets than portfolios with low levels of gender diversity. Overall, our findings support a strong moral case for gender diversity rather than an additional business argument for investors.
Keywords: Gender diversity, Board diversity, Female managers, Stock performance, Market risk
JEL Classification: G11, G30, G34, G41
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation